pay more than the ticket price to change from Economy to Business

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fkn_ace

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Hi All, thought I'd regale you with my latest AA experience.
I've booked an AA flight (JFK-CUN) for my wife and I in economy for $450.
I then noticed that had I booked Business class it would have only cost $833. That's only $383 more. So I ring them and ask If I can pay the difference to change the class from Economy to Business.
"Sure." They say. "The extra cost you'll need to pay is $913. That's $383 in fare difference and $530 in change fees." (bringing the total cost to $1363 for tickets that can be booked by someone else for $833)
I obviously declined.

Yes I booked a non refundable non changeable ticket, but I foolishly thought that because I wasn't switching flights and just wanted to change where I was sitting on the exact same flight, that they'd happily take another $383 so I could sit up the front without charging me the prohibitive change fees on top. I was wrong.
So now we'll sit in economy and AA will miss out on my $383 that I was happy to spend. I accept that's fair enough too as they are free to do and charge what they like. I'm just surprised they didn't really want my money. I'm cynically thinking AA so confident that they'll sell the business tickets to someone else, that they couldn't be bothered with the hassle of changing my booking, unless I pay way more than others.
What do you guys think?
 

mannej

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Sorry but you have admitted to purchasing a non-refundable, non-changeable ticket. I'm not sure why you are surprised that they wanted more than just the fare difference?
 

JohnK

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Yes it is a valid point but I think you'll find most airlines do this already including Qantas and Virgin. Airlines never miss an opportunity to gouge.
 

mannej

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Not sure I agree with you here, the OP makes a valid point

Whilst I accept the point the OP makes, that is the price one pays if they purchase a restrictive economy ticket. The other issue here is the OP expected to pay the fare difference only, which is what set them up for failure.

I don't see how anyone can honestly disagree with my PoV if the OP was aware of the restrictive conditions of the fare purchased.
 
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Oscarq

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Had the opposite this week but similar mean spirit with lack of assistance. AA cancelled our flight, changed us from am to pm and from business to coach, as this was a one class aircraft. Telephoned and was advised if I agree with the change then NO reduction in fare will be made. Who wants to pay for a business seat and ride in the back. Only resolution to get the fare reduced was to cancel the flight, apply for a refund due to schedule change and start again at the prevailing fare. Jet Blue here we come.( that is scary but times suit us better. )
 

MEL_Traveller

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So now we'll sit in economy and AA will miss out on my $383 that I was happy to spend. I accept that's fair enough too as they are free to do and charge what they like. I'm just surprised they didn't really want my money. I'm cynically thinking AA so confident that they'll sell the business tickets to someone else, that they couldn't be bothered with the hassle of changing my booking, unless I pay way more than others.
What do you guys think?

AA will get rid of the business class seats. Either to someone who pays from the beginning, or via awards or upgrades. What they might not be so confident about is filling their economy cabin.

'Paying the fare difference' depends on the airline and route. I have an upcoming UA flight and they offered an upgrade to First at the time of booking for the fare difference minus a $10 discount. I declined, but the option to upgrade to first is still sitting in 'manage my booking', but for the standard gap between coach and First fares.
 

serfty

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If you were in doubt, see this FT thread:

Upgrading AA Fare Code or Class of Service - Upfare / Upfaring (master thd) - FlyerTalk Forums

And, courtesy of JonNYC:


jonNYCupfare.jpg

23009958001_51b3054b75_z.jpg
 

cambriamarsh

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Hi All, thought I'd regale you with my latest AA experience.
I've booked an AA flight (JFK-CUN) for my wife and I in economy for $450.
I then noticed that had I booked Business class it would have only cost $833. That's only $383 more. So I ring them and ask If I can pay the difference to change the class from Economy to Business.
"Sure." They say. "The extra cost you'll need to pay is $913. That's $383 in fare difference and $530 in change fees." (bringing the total cost to $1363 for tickets that can be booked by someone else for $833)
I obviously declined.

Yes I booked a non refundable non changeable ticket, but I foolishly thought that because I wasn't switching flights and just wanted to change where I was sitting on the exact same flight, that they'd happily take another $383 so I could sit up the front without charging me the prohibitive change fees on top. I was wrong.
So now we'll sit in economy and AA will miss out on my $383 that I was happy to spend. I accept that's fair enough too as they are free to do and charge what they like. I'm just surprised they didn't really want my money. I'm cynically thinking AA so confident that they'll sell the business tickets to someone else, that they couldn't be bothered with the hassle of changing my booking, unless I pay way more than others.
What do you guys think?

No issue with change fees as such. My surprise is that the cost to upgrade was more than the cost of buying a fresh J tkt.
 

serfty

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No issue with change fees as such. My surprise is that the cost to upgrade was more than the cost of buying a fresh J tkt.
There should be no change fee charged.

These are USD250 per pax these days; I wonder where the other $30 came from.
 

fkn_ace

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Hi All, thanks for everyone's thoughts on the issue. Thanks to serfty for finding that info too and to Quickstatus for letting us know of their success. In answer to the $ amounts quoted, I'm using Australian dollar values not USD.
I rang on two separate days hoping to get a better result but it wasn't to be. So I saved our money and we sat in row 28. I did notice that business class wasn't full when we boarded. There was actually a spare seat next to us too so we had the row of 3 to ourselves. Can I also say the AA flight staff were all very friendly and courteous.

After I posted here, I did email AA about it and here is the official response I received:

[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]Thank you for contacting us.[/FONT]
[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]I acknowledge your disappointment with the charge we apply to make changes to a ticket. I'm glad you've given us this opportunity to respond and explain.[/FONT]
[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]When changing from Main Cabin Extra or Preferred Seat to another, our system charges the full amount for the new seat assignment, and the original seat charge is refunded. However, one condition of the nonrefundable ticket is the charge we apply when a customer needs to change their itinerary or seat for whatever reason. While making a change to your nonrefundable ticket may seem like a simple transaction, it is actually costly for us to "return" a seat. Many changes to nonrefundable tickets are made relatively close to departure and many times, it's too late for us to resell the seat. As a result, our inventory can "spoil," and we lose the opportunity to sell that seat.[/FONT]
[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]Your request for an exception to waive the change fee is understandable. However, I must respectfully decline.[/FONT]
[FONT=wf_segoe-ui_normal]I hope the information I provided is useful. We value you as our customer and look forward to welcoming you and your family aboard soon.[/FONT]

 

serfty

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Hi All, thanks for everyone's thoughts on the issue. Thanks to serfty for finding that info too and to Quickstatus for letting us know of their success. In answer to the $ amounts quoted, I'm using Australian dollar values not USD.
I rang on two separate days hoping to get a better result but it wasn't to be. So I saved our money and we sat in row 28. I did notice that business class wasn't full when we boarded. There was actually a spare seat next to us too so we had the row of 3 to ourselves. Can I also say the AA flight staff were all very friendly and courteous.

After I posted here, I did email AA about it and here is the official response I received:...
Sad.

It's a big organisation and many experienced staff have moved on.

Did you quote "Waiver code: WCFUPGFARE" in your correspondence?
 

Mattg

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The irony is that the business class seats probably would have been filled by someone on a complimentary/SWU upgrade instead (assuming they were filled - which it appears they may not have been).
 
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